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Sarah B Absinthe Bar Grand Opening

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Last wednesday I was invited to the official opening of the Sarah B absinthe bar, located inside the Intercontinental Hotel of Montreal. The name is inspired by the Belle Époque signer Sarah Bernardt, which was said to be an absinthe lover.

 

The evening was a successful mix of mystery, charm and unlimited quantities of absinthe. What not to like? :cheers:

 

(For those interested, more descriptions - in french - and pictures on my blog Le Rouge et le Boire)

 

Here is the green lighted entrance.

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A whole wall of the hallway is covered by this rather nice banner:

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Further down the hall strange faces were looking at us..

 

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Smiling and dedicated staff was all over the place to help us find our way around.

 

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Some speeches, and even the visit of Sarah Bernardt in person. 177 years old and still looking fine. :thumbup:

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Then incredibly charming and fine looking fées vertes took us to the bar itself... how could I say no? :yahoo:

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More fairies... wingless this time

 

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Now, what you guys were really waiting for, the Sarah B bar. It was stocked with 400 bottles of Versinthe, as well as some Absente et Pernod. They plan to (hopefully) expend their choices in a near future. The bar is made of 6 or seven rooms most having small areas, hidden with curtains, were you can drink your absinthe with some privacy. Everythings was tainted with a retro-chic aura.

 

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A barman doing his fine job.

 

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an upside down shot.

 

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The furniture is awesome: chairs built like absinthe spoons and cushions shaped like sugar cubes!

 

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One more shot:

 

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Edited by Pastaga

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A drink made of Bailey's, brandy, absinthe and maple syrup. The Bailey's overwhelmed the rest but was still nice with the pastries and other sweets served.

 

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The above mentioned sweets:

 

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A flat screen was playing Charlie Chaplin movies, which added to the retro-chic ambience.

 

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Many fountains and accessories

 

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One last drink to go...

 

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I haven't been there as a customer yet, so I cannot give you a fully objective review, but their official opening was a mind blowing event. These guys know how to throw a party! :cheers:

 

regards,

 

Jean

Edited by Pastaga

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After studying the photos in depth it appears they carry Absente, Versinthe and Pernod. :thumbdown:

 

Good eyes Sherlock... but as I openly stated in my comments they carry these 3 brands for the moment but plan to enlarge their choices. See, in Canada we have a notoriously poor choice of good absinthe at the time being. You sure can count on me and other local absinthe lovers to open their eyes on this.

 

I know they tried to contact Marie-Claude Delahaye to give them some pointers, so I know they mean to do well and dont want to use absinthe as a pure marketing gimmick. Just give them some time to adjust. :cheers:

 

Actually, I don't know if Dieu du ciel has the Montreal exclusivity on la Clandestine, but if I was the Clandestine's importator I'd knock at the Sarah B door real soon... :wave2:

 

Thanks for the comments guys!

Edited by Pastaga

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GUH! Those chairs are amazing for DAYS! It seems as though they have the right idea as far as opening a contemporary absinthe bar is concerned, but it's a little disappointing that their selection is so bleh.

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Actually, I don't know if Dieu du ciel has the Montreal exclusivity on la Clandestine, but if I was the Clandestine's importator I'd knock at the Sarah B door real soon... :wave2:

They don't have exclusivity ... and someone will be knocking .... :wave2:

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Alan Moss: Exactly what I wanted to hear. :cheers:

 

absinthehour: I also think its the fair way to look at this...

Fixedspiral: Those chairs look even better when you see them for real. I know it took them ages to have them done, but it was quite worth it if you ask me. :thumbup:

 

Derrick: :cheers:

 

smug simian: Montreal worths to be seen. Now even more so ;) .

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Am I the only one finding those chairs ugly?

 

And for a grand opening they could have done a little homework and serve proper absinthes in proper glasses ;)

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I dunno. Maybe I'm just barely over the "too old" side for the night club scene. All the pencil-mustaches on the barkeeps, Vegas lighting, fairy girls...it just seems over the top to me. Add in the bad selection of absinthe (though I'll give them a total mulligan on this one -- our selection in Texas is also notoriously bad at present), and it just doesn't do it for me. Seems tacky somehow.

 

I agree with Marc, too, about the chairs. To each his own, I suppose, and taste is entirely subjective... but they're not for me.

 

I gotta say, however: I dig the **** out of their font. I wonder which font it is?

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And for a grand opening they could have done a little homework and serve proper absinthes in proper glasses ;)

 

I actually tried to excuse them on the absinthe choice as there was some justification to it, but you are spot on for the glasses. I wish they let us use the Vesinthe glasses (shown in the upside down shot and used as reservoirs) which suit better to absinthe than boring tumblers.

 

On the other hand I am quite sure that they used those because of the sheer number of people there and that normal day customers get the nice looking Versinthe glasses. We will see...

 

 

 

Flesh, who said flesh? I actually tried to take a picture of the wall behind the girls. See, I couldn't get around them and there was nice decorations painted on that wall and you could clearly see that blah blah blah... :biggrin:

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"The sunflower doesn't come off."

 

 

 

 

The backing on the chairs look incredibly uncomfortable. It's a good idea, and I like the idea, but since I'm not thrilled with most spoon designs in the first place, the actual implementation of that idea didn't do much for me.

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The height, separation, and texture of those columns... someone pored long and hard over that feature.

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